Abstract | Echinacea Differences Matter
Circa 1900, the reputation of Echinacea was built on the use of high-alcohol extracts of Echinacea angustifolia roots applied topically for wounds, infections, and poisonous bites and stings and administered internally for acute infections now known to be bacterial. Beginning in the mid-20th century, when European clinical research on low-alcohol fresh plant extracts of Echinacea purpurea established their usefulness in treating the common cold, the perception of Echinacea root extracts was transformed based on their generic relationship. The proclivity of modern botanical use for evidence-associated applications has led to widespread confusion regarding the differences between these distinct botanical species and their preparations.
Francis Brinker, ND